Topping the news: Many Utah politicians sympathize with the frustrations of the armed group that took possession of a federal wildlife building in Oregon last weekend, but they disapprove of the method. [Trib] [Fox13]
-> Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced his endorsement for GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio yesterday, joining the rest of Utah’s House members already backing the Florida senator. [Trib] [DNews] With Sen. Orrin Hatch behind Jeb Bush, Sen. Mike Lee is the only delegation member who hasn’t announced an endorsement. [KUTV]
-> The Attorney General’s Office closed an investigation in September of Rep. Ken Ivory -- who promised counties help to gain control of federal lands while earning a salary through his nonprofit -- because no one who donated money felt cheated. [Trib]
-> The new state prison is scheduled for completion before 2020, and the state has hired Big D Construction to serve as the project’s management and technical consultant. [Trib] [DNews]
Tweets of the day: From @RexHuppke: "I predict the GOP will have a brokered convention and Ted Cruz and Donald Trump will compete to see who can throw an immigrant the farthest."
From @LeeCamp: "Pretty sure is a collective American fever dream."
From @hiitsallen: "I was never a conspiracy theorist but I’m starting to think that Obama’s gun control laws are just a plot to take our mass shootings away"
Happy birthday: To our friend and loyal reader, Karen Wiley.
Tune in: Utah Director of Elections Mark Thomas, Rep. Dan McCay and Tribune senior political reporter Robert Gehrke join Jennifer Napier-Pearce to talk about election reform and the two-pronged approach of campaign 2016. Watch Trib Talk live at 12:15 p.m. MT on sltrib.com.
In other news: Rep. Chris Stewart said yesterday that North Korea’s alleged H-bomb test proves that we live in "an extraordinarily dangerous time." [DNews] [KUTV]
-> Sen. Lee compared today’s government to a mullet – yes, the hairstyle – noting that even if you trim it, it’s still "ugly." [DNews]
-> Background checks were done on 102,000 gun purchases from Utah dealers in 2015, but it’s unknown how many other sales were conducted between buyers and "private sellers." [KUTV]
-> One company in West Valley City produces guns with fingerprint recognition, impeding shots from anyone other than the owner. [Fox13] [ABC4]
-> SLC Mayor Jackie Biskupski continues to announce appointments to her staff, including Jennifer Seelig, a former Democratic leader in the Utah House, and Holly Mullen, a former journalist who most recently held the post of executive director at the Rape Recovery Center. [Trib]
-> Former West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder is attempting to oust GOP incumbent state Rep. Fred Cox. [KUER]
-> While there is still confusion about getting on the ballot under SB54, a new issue has arisen over getting signatures verified in time. [UtahPolicy]
-> A lawmaker has proposed legislation that would eliminate terms like "husband" and "wife" from state code in favor of the gender-neutral term "spouse."[Fox13]
-> A spokesman in Utah said Wednesday night that soldiers from two Utah National Guard units fought or flew in the Tuesday battle in city of Marja in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. [Trib]
-> A federal judge has ordered the public release of documents that appear to prove that the mother of Darrien Hunt, a man shot and killed by police officers in Utah in 2014, told her attorney she agreed to a settlement, but her attorneys argue that she never signed off on a final settlement. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV] [ABC4]
-> A judge said Tooele County did not negotiate in "good faith" while dealing with two bidders interested in buying the Miller Motorsports Park last year. [KUTV]
-> Despite a statewide property tax increase approved by Utah lawmakers last year that yielded a combined $50 million from Utah taxpayers, roughly $24 million remains to be distributed to schools due to a clerical error in the law. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Utah prosecutors have said that the famous polygamous family on the reality TV show "Sister Wives" wouldn’t face charges if a law against plural marriage stands. [Trib] [Fox13]
-> Police reported 159 crashes during New Year’s Eve weekend. [KUTV] However, the number of DUI-related arrests made during the weekend are lower than last year. [ABC4]
-> The family of a man who was killed by a drunk driver are suing the Utah pub where his offender had been drinking. [Trib]
-> A study shows that Utahns who wait for their cars to warm up release unnecessary pollutants into the air and contribute to the state’s notorious air quality problems. [DNews] [KUTV] [Fox13] [KUER]
-> Workers at the SLC airport have seen a 30 percent jump in 2015 lost-and-found items. [KUTV]
-> A home security industry company released a list of Utah’s 20 safest cities, along with a list for every other state. [KUTV]
-> Some Utahns are taking a trip to Idaho for the chance to win $500 million in the lottery. (They might be going back given there was no winner last night.) [Fox13] [ABC4]
-> Pat Bagley shares his view on those who claim to be spokesman for the Almighty. [Trib]
Nationally: The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation yesterday that would repeal Obamacare after more than 60 votes to roll back all or part of the law. [CNN]
-> Although Republicans widely recognize Donald Trump as the party’s front-runner, the real competition is for second place, with four candidates fighting it out in New Hampshire. [TIME]
-> Trump has recently brought up accusations of sexual assault against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s husband that were reported in the 1990s. [WaPost]
-> An Oregon Native American tribe says armed men occupying a federal building in Oregon are "desecrating sacred land." [NPR]
-> Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a New York Times interview that she sees "a complacency" among the younger generation of women since Roe v. Wade was decided, which upset many young female activists. [Vox]
Where are they?
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz delivers "State of Oversight" speech at the Brookings Institute and chairs an Oversight hearing regarding the status of document production at various federal agencies.
- Rep. Chris Stewart goes to a House Intelligence Committee hearing, meetings with Senator Hatch and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and casts votes. He also calls constituents.
- Rep. Mia Love holds meetings with her staff, votes and records a public service announcement for Black History Month.
- Gov. Gary Herbert offers the NGA State of States Address at the National Press Club and hits an NGA Executive Committee Meeting. He later returns to SLC.
- Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox speaks at Bingham High School and visits Blue Sky Utah.
- President Barack Obama receives his daily briefing and participates in a live town hall event with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on reducing gun violence in America.
Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you haven’t already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]
-- Thomas Burr and Mariah Noble
Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/mnoblenews